It was great pleasure reading your March 14 article titled "Homeless Shelter Receives Needed Face Lift" about volunteers sprucing up Bethlehem house one of the most important homes in St. Thomas since it provides shelter to those that are going through a rough time in the life. It was with greater pleasure when I further read the article and learned that Richard "Sky" Gomez is the manager of Bethlehem house.
I had the pleasure of working with Sky the summer of 1994 at Bethlehem house. At the time I was working with Senator Judy Gomez and she had the brilliant idea of partnering with Bethlehem house to provide summer camp services to the kids that were residing there. The summer camp services were also extended to the staff member kids. I being the youngest on her staff (at the tender age of 23) was asked whether I would like the chance to work with the kids. I jumped at the opportunity especially when I realized the hidden perks casual clothing, sneakers and field trips!
Sky and I collaborated, planned and created a program that included activities through the entire summer. Each day of the week was a special day. If my memory serves me correctly, Mondays were field trip day, Tuesdays were movie days, Wednesday and Thursday were art and craft days and Fridays were beach day. Sky was truly a savvy negotiator he made an agreement with Blockbuster to offer complimentary movies. He did the same thing with other places of business. Our Field trips took us on walks through the historic down town area and also to the Camille Pissarro museum in back street. Each day of the week was truly an adventure!
I really have a lot of respect for Sky, during that summer I regarded him as the big brother that I never had. Sky is such a caring, loving person he always dispensed smiles and words of advice when needed and you just knew that things would be ok. Sky has overcome a lot of personal challenges in his life and I am so proud of him to see where he is today. I also want to take a moment to encourage folks to look around and see what areas of their community home need tender loving care and step up to the task of volunteering. After completing any volunteer task and seeing that positive impact, there is no greater feeling in the world!
Columbia, Md./St. Thomas
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